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Swiss National Bank, China to set up currency-swap line

Staff writer |
The Swiss National Bank and the People's Bank of China have agreed to set up a currency swap line designed to boost trade and investment flows between the two countries.

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The Swiss and Chinese central banks said the three-year agreement will allow them to buy and sell their currencies up to a limit of 150 billion renminbi, or 21 billion Swiss francs ($23.4 billion).

The deal will also allow the SNB to buy up to 2 billion francs worth of Chinese bonds, helping it diversify its foreign-exchange reserves which have swelled to almost 450 billion francs.

The Zurich-based SNB said the agreement will further strengthen collaboration between it and its Chinese counterpart and is a "key requisite for the development of a renminbi [yuan] market in Switzerland."

The Swiss Department of Finance welcomed the agreement, which it said represented a key precondition for expanding the trade in yuan in Switzerland and in emphasizing the role played by Switzerland in expanding the global use of the Chinese currency.

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